Our Christmas Tree is up! | The Christmas Forest Review

Forget the presents, the thing that I get most excited about at Christmas is putting up the tree! We have had a real Christmas tree for the past few years, including this year's which arrived courtesy of The Christmas Forest. They sent us an absolutely beautiful 6ft Nordmann Fir, which the children and I thoroughly enjoyed decorating with our growing collection of pretty baubles.

I first discovered The Christmas Forest back in 2018. They are an independent, family-run business sourcing trees as locally as possible to reduce the number of "tree miles" and minimise how long the trees are in transit for. They have physical stores across London as well as an online service, so trees can be collected from them or delivered to your door using their nationwide delivery service. Their trees are freshly cut so that they stay looking fresh for longer and they come from sustainable farms where a new tree is planted to replace each one that is cut down. 

The Christmas Forest sell two types of tree: Nordmann Fir have non-drop needles so are perfect for indoors, while Norway Spruce trees are deep green with a fresh smell. The trees are available in a variety of sizes from a dinky 3ft to an enormous 12ft! 

Something that is particularly special about The Christmas Forest is that they have an ongoing partnership with Tree Aid. For every tree that is bought from them, another is planted in the drylands of Africa. This helps to provide a livelihood to some of the poorest communities in the world. This year they are on target to have helped plant 300,000 trees which is an phenomenal achievement! I really hope they reach it!

Our tree is decorated with a mixture of beautiful wood, metal and glass baubles and ornaments, as well as some cherished decorations made by my children. Those ones are kept right at the top of the tree away from curious little fingers and paws! These metal reindeer shapes were a new addition to the tree last year. I love how the fairy lights reflect off the metal and glass, as if there are even more lights.

I see a lot of discussion each year on whether a real or artificial tree is the most sustainable choice and it was something I spent a while pondering over when we retired our years-old artificial tree a few years ago. Reading this article and this one really helped us come to a decision about what would have the least environmental impact; for us, that is a real tree. Once Christmas is over the tree is chopped up for next year's firewood and kindling, and the needles go into the composter, so nothing goes to waste.

Until then, our beautiful tree will glow from the corner of the room, reminding me for now that it is time to slow down for the rest of the year and enjoy being together. And as we approach the winter solstice, the tree is a reminder that after the longest night the sun will begin to return, the days will begin to lengthen, spring will return once more.

Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? How do you decorate yours? Let me know! 

With thanks to The Christmas Forest for sending us a tree for this feature.

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